Is It Intel's Turn to Hold Up Windows 8?


There's a domestic disturbance afoot in the Wintel household.

Just last month, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) CEO Paul Otellini reportedly told staffers at an internal meeting that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows 8 wasn't quite ready for prime time yet, as the next-generation operating system was full of bugs and that OEMs were having some trouble joining their hardware with Mr. Softy's software cohesively.

Bloomberg reports that Intel may be he source of some bugs and delays itself, though. The chip giant's newest Clover Trail Atom processors, which are meant to give competing designs from U.K.-based ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH) a run for their pounds in power efficiency, are holding up development of Windows 8 tablets because Intel hasn't served up the proper power-management software.

The clock is ticking down to the launch of Windows 8, which is set for Oct. 26 -- just over three weeks away -- and Clover-Trail-powered tablets are supposed to be included in the launch lineup. But Microsoft hasn't certified any Clover Trail tablets, because without the necessary software, power efficiency would be subpar and hurt battery life. It has certified plenty of ARM-based tablets running its Windows RT variant.

A lot of companies have a lot riding on Windows 8's success or failure. Virtually all of the PC supply chain is banking on the OS to spur growth. I've always been bullish on its tablet prospects but bearish on its traditional PC potential. JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna was quoted as saying:

The PC channel is in chaos right now. They don't know what to do. They don't know what to design for; they don't know what the consumers are going to buy. Tablets have stolen their growth trajectory, plus the macro situation, plus Wintel has made a mess of their ecosystem.

With such a short amount of time until the launch, Wintel better get their act together.

Intel is one of many important partners that will play a part in determining the success or failure of Windows 8, which is Microsoft's big shot at reinvigorating the PC market. Read up on the software giant's biggest opportunities ahead of it, including Windows 8, in this new premium report. Click here to get started.

Originally published